2011 ETA QTVan

Mobility scooter owners now have a new way to make sure they're first in line for the early-bird special or senior discount day with the QTVan, a mobility scooter-towed mini caravan. The trailer was designed by English company Environmental Transport Association as a convenient way to dodge lines, or a handy place to stay should your Rascal crap out on you. With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, ETA is touting the mini camper as a perfect way to beat the crowd in comfort and style.

It's no Airstream by any means, but manages to fit a raft of features into a package just over six feet long. Inside, there's a full-size bed, a tea service, a full bar and a 19-inch flat-screen television. It's even available for short vacations, though with a 30-mile range and six-mph top end, it won't get you much further than the park.

For those with a green-sensitive mindset, the ETA says the QTVan is 100-percent carbon neutral, provided you use sustainable energy sources to charge it. Conveniently, ETA will also sell you a mobility scooter roadside curbside assistance plan, covering everything from loss of charge to flat tires. Between the QTVan and the breakdown coverage, ETA has all your mobility scooter needs in hand.

The QTVan is available now to English customers, with a starting price of £5,500, or about $9,000, not including the scooter itself. Breakdown coverage will run you £49.99, or around $82, per year. Click past the jump to check out an epically awesome video of the QTVan in action.

[Source: YouTube via ETA]




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MOBILITY SCOOTER CARAVAN BUILT TO BEAT ROYAL WEDDING QUEUES

Elderly spectators hoping to bag the best spot on the Royal Wedding procession route, but unwilling to spend a night camping on the pavement, can now buy a caravan designed to be towed by a mobility scooter; the QTvan launched this week is small enough to be used on the pavement, but manages to accommodate a full-size bed.

The £5,500 QTvan is the world's smallest caravan and is so named because it caters to three peculiarly British obsessions: queuing, tea and caravans. As well as a 19" television on which to watch the ceremony highlights, and a drinks cabinet with which to toast the happy couple, the tiny caravan boasts tea-making facilities - essential for a royal day out.

If any extra provisions are needed, the caravan is so compact it can be towed inside a supermarket.

The Environmental Transport Association (ETA) developed the QTvan to highlight the estimated 220,000 people who use a mobility scooter without breakdown cover and face the prospect of a very long wait should they suffer a mechanical fault or their battery runs flat.

Spokesman for the ETA, Yannick Read, said: "An increasing number of people rely on mobility scooters, but if you develop a fault or run out of battery power and don't have breakdown cover – or a tiny caravan in tow - your only options are to push something that weighs the equivalent of two men all the way home or call on a relative with a large car."

The ETA warns that the QTvan is best-suited to local trips. If it is used to venture further afield, extra time should be allowed.

For example, a trip from London to a popular caravanning destination like the New Forest would take 2 days, while a journey to Whitby would take one week.

>From Monday 18th April, both the QTvan (£5,500) and mobility scooter breakdown cover (£49.99) can be ordered from www.eta.co.uk

The QTvan is on Youtube – search QTvan mobility scooter caravan or visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHUL1ZnLZ-c

QTvan specifications:

Dimensions: 2m x 75cm
Top speed: 6mph
Range: 30 miles on a single charge
Power: 240v hook up or battery
Entertainment: 19" TV, radio, alarm clock, book shelves
Accommodation: Full-sized single bed
Cooking facilities: Kettle, drinks cabinet Eco rating: Entirely carbon neutral (if electricity bought from a sustainable provider)
Price: £5,500

Optional extras include: Solar roof panels, air horn and extra-wide wing mirror for mobility scooter, satellite dish, gaming console, central heating, external luggage rack, bespoke paint.

Ends

The Royal Family has an association with small caravans; a two-thirds scale caravan was presented to Prince Charles and Princess Anne by the Caravan Club in 1955

The QTvan is the world's most environmentally-friendly caravan.

Using a conventional caravan for a 'staycation' within Britain remains a relatively green way of taking a holiday, but if the electricity used to charge the mobility scooter is bought from a green provider, the QTvan is entirely carbon neutral.

A record number of the 500,000 caravans in regular use are expected to take to the roads this Easter, but since the QTvan is towed by a mobility scooter the only queues it is likely to cause are on the pavement or at a supermarket checkout.

The ETA has launched a breakdown recovery service for mobility scooters that costs £49.99 for a year's cover. If a mobility scooter user breaks down or their battery runs flat, they will send out a qualified mechanic.

If necessary the scooter will be taken to a local garage for repairs and the driver will have their taxi fare home paid for if they are unable to get into the recovery lorry. www.eta.co.uk